Bobby Roth’s “Manhood” (2003) makes its West Coast premiere at the 23rd San Francisco Jewish Film Festival, which features some 51 films from 13 countries.
The sequel to 2001’s “Jack the Dog,” “Manhood” follows Jack (Nestor Carbonell), a reformed womanizer who is now divorced and living with his 14-year-old son, Sam (Andrew Ferchand). Jack has given up fashion photography and now works photographing weddings and bar mitzvahs as part of his custody agreement with Sam’s mother, who has remarried and moved to England. Jack’s sister, Jill (Janeane Garofalo), shows up and asks him to take in her delinquent 17-year-old, Charlie (Nick Roth), until she settles her divorce from ne’er-do-well Eli (John Ritter). Feeling guilty, Jack acquiesces, not realizing the corrupting influence Charlie will have on Sam. When Eli loses his job and comes to Jack for help, Jack turns to his therapist, only to find that she has her own unreasonable desires. As Jack struggles to keep his family together, “Manhood” asks questions about the example that fathers should set for their sons and explores how the intersection of sex, love and family shape a man’s life.
Other films being screened at the festival include Ram Loevy’s “Close, Closed, Closure” (Israel), a documentary about the daily life in Gaza during the current intifada; Benny Brunner and Joseph and Simone de Vries’s “Kinky Friedman” (Netherlands), about the Jewish-American country-western singer and author, and Eduardo Milewicz’s “Samy Y Yo” (Argentina), about a neurotic screenwriter suddenly catapulted to national fame via his own reality-television show.
Wheeler Auditorium, University of California campus, Berkeley; July 26, 8:45 p.m.; Cinéarts, 3000 El Camino Real, Building No. 6, Palo Alto; July 27, 6 p.m.; Rafael Film Center, 118 4th St., San Rafael; Aug. 2, 9 p.m.; festival through Aug. 4; $7-$10, please call of visit Web site for complete festival listings. (925-866-9559 or www.sfjff.org/sfjff23 )